Kitchen Showcase: Into the Light
No matter how big the house, the kitchen is where the family gathers, whether to cook meals, eat dinner or entertain.
Let the sunshine in! This was how designer Alyssa Zink’s client felt when it came to her kitchen — a room in the 1990s-era Bedford house she’d lived in for more than a decade. Bogged down by lots of dark cherry wood, the room also had strange angles, including an awkwardly positioned island that made it hard to navigate the space. Furthermore, a wall between the kitchen and the dining room prevented the family from making full use of the latter room.
“A major goal was to remove that wall,” says Alyssa, of Studio Z Home in Bedford. “This would create more flow between kitchen and dining room, allowing the dining area to reach its potential. It would also let morning light flood into the kitchen, which immediately changed the atmosphere. With the wall gone, we could then address the overall kitchen layout and design a space that worked.”
Removing the wall required the insertion of a steel beam; once that was done, the transformation began. Appliances were upgraded, and Alyssa streamlined the kitchen by installing built-ins. The refrigerator’s paneled front blends with the cabinets, and the 48-inch range fits neatly into the kitchen’s cooking zone.
Alyssa based the room’s color palette on hues already found in the home, resulting in a kitchen that boasts pale, warm grays and slate blue, with textured metals and clear glass adding interest. The adjacent mudroom’s existing slate blue cabinets inspired the color for the kitchen island and the primary prep area, which includes an apron-style main sink, dishwasher and abundant storage. The back of the island has seating — chairs of weathered wood with leather strapping — and is tiled in eight-inch, square mosaic blocks that create a striking pattern. A row of LED lights outlining the island’s edge are left on in the evening to act as a nightlight. Leathered quartzite countertops pull in the room’s blue and white hues.
Shimmering clear-glass globes hanging from matte black chains above the island pick up the black of the drawer pulls, faucet and other kitchen hardware. The range — dark zinc with stainless steel strapping—also provides dramatic contrast. Echoing the glass globes, glass insets accent the upper cabinets, which showcase attractive pieces of dishware.
At the far end of the kitchen, a breakfast nook was created in the bow window. With morning light pouring in, it is the perfect spot to start the day.
“My client gained so much space and flow that they now use the dining room regularly and enjoy being in the kitchen,” says Alyssa. “Taking down the wall didn’t just open up the room, it opened up a whole new lifestyle.”